Friday November 15, 2019

USA observing CPR and AED Awareness Week from June 1-7, to save lives from Cardiac Arrest

The month of June is designated to raise awareness for the practical purposes and training of CPR & AED

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CPR training: CPR is being administered while a second rescuer prepares for defibrillation. Image source: Wikipedia

Back in 2007, the American Heart Association, The American Red Cross, and the National Safety Council joined forces and worked fervently to assign one week of the year for CPR & AED Awareness. By December 13 2007, Congress declared that the first week of June will be recognized as CPR & AED Awareness week.

Unfortunately for the people who worked so hard to designate one week of the year to raise awareness on these two rescue tactics, the first week of June coincides with a nationally recognized holiday; Memorial Day. They have taken it upon themselves to recognize the month of June as CPR & AED Awareness Month, as opposed to just using the first week to recognize such an important topic.

CPR and AED Awareness posters. Image source: cpr.heart.org
CPR and AED Awareness posters. Image source: cpr.heart.org

The purpose of raising awareness of this first aid training tactic is simple; to save lives. According to the American Red Cross, cardiac arrest is the one of the main causes of death in adults. These sudden cardiac arrests typically happen in homes. The mission of raising awareness is also to ensure that at least one person in every household has received CPR & AED training and can properly aid anyone who may need that specific medical attention.

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. It is a rescue technique that one individual applies to another who is suffering from cardiac arrest. It is a series of actions that includes compressing on an individual’s chest and breathing air into their lungs. The goal is to ensure that a person’s blood circulation and oxygen in their body stay at functioning levels.

An AED machine in Akihabara Wikimedia Commons
An AED machine in Akihabara. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. An AED is a machine that you can find attached to walls in many public locations. The defibrillator is used in very serious situations. When used, it restores an individual’s electrical signals to their heart. In these serious situations, if the AED is not used it could result in death or incapacitation.

The importance of CPR & AED is very blatant for anyone to see. It must be noted that these life saving tactics cannot be properly maneuvered if one has not been trained to do so. The attention CPR & AED Awareness Week/Month receives is beneficial to all. Many CPR/AED classes are available for people to take, and information is obtainable. Local events are typically hosted for the awareness week, and The American Heart Association encourages you to look into classes. The AHA also has free printable documents, which you can use to spread the word about CPR & AED Awareness Week in your very own community.

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Here’s Why Complimentary Cancer Therapies Can Cause More Harm

Doctors need to be more proactive about asking their patients what else they are taking when they are being treated for cancer

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Cancer
It is particularly important that patients always check with their doctors first before trying complementary therapies for Cancer that has spread to the skin. Pixabay

A medical expert has said that Cancer patients should tell doctors treating them about the herbal products they may be taking since some ingredients could affect their treatment.

Maria Joao Cardoso, the head breast surgeon at the Champalimaud Cancer Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, said that there was no evidence that herbal therapies or creams worked.

If in doubt, it is best not to take anything, she added.

Garlic, ginger and ginkgo pills, for example, can delay the healing of skin wounds when breast cancer spreads, she said.

“Doctors need to be more proactive about asking their patients what else they are taking when they are being treated for cancer,” Cardoso told the BBC.

She said that it is particularly important that patients always check with their doctors first before trying complementary therapies for cancer that has spread to the skin. This happens in one in five cases of breast cancer, and less in other cancers.

The danger is that many products can interfere with the hormone therapy or chemotherapy treatments, and certain ones prolong the blood clotting process, which can lead to wounds taking longer time to heal and more scarring.

She said that herbal products like green chiretta, feverfew, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, hawthorn, horse chestnut and turmeric slow down clotting.

Cancer
A medical expert has said that Cancer patients should tell doctors treating them about the herbal products they may be taking since some ingredients could affect their treatment. Pixabay

Cardoso said that it is not surprising that patients and their carers go searching for complementary or alternative treatments that might make a difference.

But she said people should know that “they could end up doing more harm than good”.

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“The highest goal in medicine is important to remember: Do no harm,” she said.

As per the website of Cancer Research UK, some complementary therapies might stop conventional treatments working as well as they should. (IANS)